Sustainability and eco-friendly living is not merely a trend. Sustainability has become a mandate from furniture consumers. You may wonder: What is more sustainable – mass-produced or handcrafted furniture? We’re happy to report that by most scorecards, hand-crafted wood furniture, like the pieces made by our members, are a sustainability powerhouse!
Here’s what matters when it comes to sustainable furniture
Where does the wood come from?
An important consideration with wood is to ensure that it was harvested from responsibly managed forests. Did you know, there are 76,000 private landowners who own 82% of Vermont forests and 60% (2.8 million acres) is under active forest management?
Members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers use locally-harvested wood
Our members make furniture from abundant North American hardwoods, such as cherry, maple, oak, and walnut. They use the heavily forested nature of Vermont to supply their natural, eco-friendly raw materials.
For example, the incredible Windsor chairs made by George Ainsley in Perkinsville, Vermont. His traditional Windsor chairs use three or four species of native wood.
Where is the furniture made?
How far does your furniture travel to get to you? Look for furniture that was produced close to where you live and uses materials found close to where it is made. Buying local cuts emissions from transport and supports local economies.
Our members make furniture locally
Guild members are independent, local artisans with studios throughout Vermont. Our furniture makers dot the rural Vermont countryside. Each member upholds the tradition of high quality local craftsmanship, while benefiting and contributing to a sustainable economy.
For example John Lomas makes his custom designs in his workshop, built with his own hands, at his home in Hinesburg, Vermont.
Another example: George Sawyer continues the wood-working legacy of his father, David Sawyer. From his shop in Woodbury, Vermont, George produces heirloom quality pieces.